More Than A RiverMar 02, 2015 03:52PM ● By Susan Emeline Bills
I grew up along the banks of the big, beautiful Susquehanna River. A variety of trees border its vast expanse, bushes and animals appear and disappear with the rise and fall of the murky, swirling waters. An ever-changing scene but also always the same overall happening.
Years ago the river was contained by small dikes that allowed an unobstructed view all along the edge. Now the view is compromised by large walls to hold back its raging waters when they rise to flood.
I would go to the river often to be comforted by its ever-flowing, steady presence and found solace in knowing it was always there. It is one of my sacred places.I could sit on those banks and watch its purposeful meanderings for hours, and the concerns of my heart and head would be carried downstream as I contemplated the mystery and magic of it all.
Its murky, brown waters although often calm and serene would sometimes become a raging torrent. But no matter the mood the waters flowed. I could surrender to that flow and trust that I too could be carried along the currents to whatever lies ahead if I could find a way to trust the river. I could surrender to the meanderings and forward-moving momentum of my life. I could let it takes its course………..but, not by being passive.
The river is full of life, creative force and has a definite direction. As it journeys along it is also stirring things up and carrying resources and creating life-giving energy while at the same time just being a river flowing.
I love that river. It is part of who I am.
Last night my dreams took me to the banks of my beloved river, and I woke up thinking about how my experiences on its banks inform my life.
The love, reverence and awe I feel for both the river and the surrounding valley opens me up to trusting in eternity and its dance of perfection. I feel a timelessness and a knowing that all is as it should be when I am there. I feel a profound peace and I recognize that all of us are part of that perfection just the way we are even as we are shaped and changed by the flow of our lives.
I live many hours drive from the Susquehanna now, but the experience is with me always.
I am a fourth generation native Pennsylvanian, who carries her homeland in her heart and mind no matter where she travels.
I grew up beside the mighty Susquehanna River and my memories of those formative years are as rich and deep as the muddy waters that flow along those riverbanks.
I now live and write on the coast of Maine or in a sailboat en route to somewhere.